Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I am in ChefChaouen, Morocco and I've just finished an amazing day. I awoke to a splendid sunrise whose beams burned yellow and blood orange in the sky, highlighting the Rif Mountains that line the west.
ChefChaouen is also known as the "Blue City" as the color has been used to ward off evil for centuries. You can tell the fortunes of a family by the depth of the blue on their home. The deeper the shade of blue, the more pigment they could afford to put in the paint and thus more percieved wealth.
The locals call the guest house where i'm staying "Scotlandia" because a family of Scots, Terry, Suzanne and the resident teenager, Liam, complete with more 'cool' than cool persona run the small guest house. How cool?, you say. Liam's cool enough to have learned Arabic in less than a year, be the drummer of a local band, and hang with every hash-seeking backpacker that has made their way through the doors of the "Rif" since it opened in 2006.
ChefChaouen is unlike any place I've been. It combines a love affair with nature and the necessity of commerce into a tightly managed and monitored community by the people. There's no theft, no crime, because of the shame, and ultimate consequence of the act, which in Morocco usually sucks. Community security guards, similar to neighborhood watch, are stationed at every public location and tourist hangout simply to keep people honest. the souk, or shop, owners haggle honestly for the price that makes you and he feel good about the transaction. and the food is fresh and fast. orange juice squeezed right in front of you. butchers chop and measure lamb ribs then passing them to a boy who runs the plate to a cook at the stall across the walk, who stokes a charcoal fire while spicing the meat and organizing it on the grill for the hungry queue. All the while, mystified tourists gawk at the open air meat locker and the boiled sheeps heads that are sold directly next door.
It's mystically Muslim...the daily calls to prayer are melodic reminders of the faith that many would have me believe threaten my country and my freedom...yet those I've met mean me no harm and are re-energized about America led by Barack. It's said that his name alone is changing the world perspective. An article that I read mentioned that the illiterate will hear that Barack Hussein Obama is the president of the United States of America and no longer believe the Jihadist messages that are brainwashing them just as our corporate news juggernauts pipe the equal, yet opposite lie into an average of nearly 2 1/4 television sets per American household.
Its a shame that such a divide exists only in fear and ignorance. I've yet to find an Imam, Monk, Rabbi, Priest, or Preacher that has been able to show me in their literature where it says it's OK to kill in the name of their God...why man allows this great lie to continue is beyond me. But I can say that I only feel embarrassed of what my government and its corporations, hidden behind our stars and stripes and the brave men and women who serve them, have done on this planet.
Things are changing though ma...mother earth will prevail.